"We are all wanderers on this earth...our hearts are full of wonder, and our souls are deep with dreams." ~ Gypsy proverb

Thursday, October 28, 2010

“You cannot teach a man anything; you can only help him discover it in himself.” ~ Galileo

I think the biggest misconception I had as a parent, and still struggle with, is that I know more about my children, than they know about themselves. No doubt my experiences can predict tendencies, protect, or help anticipate problems and results (ie. if we don't eat breakfast, we get cranky later).  But I have found that despite all my experiences and best intentions, children still desire to know for themselves by their own experience what is right or what is wrong for them, what works or doesn't work for them, and of course, what they can or can't do.

As I eluded to in a previous post, my 8 year old son has learned two very exciting skills in the past 3 weeks: whittling with a very sharp knife and starting a fire in the fireplace.  Though my fears wanted to take me to the moon, my husband, at his side, thoughtfully, carefully and lovingly showed him all that he wanted to know.

It's an intricate balance observing self-discovery while knowing what the consequences may hold.  By giving them the benefit of the doubt, by believing them when they say "I can do it, Mom", and by being there without judgement no matter what the consequences, the gifts of courage, self confidence and trust far exceed any skill accomplished.

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“Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.”
~ George Bernard Shaw